Map10 – Excavation Site – by A. Gamma – Kills – 92, Items – 90, Secrets – 100. Time Sucks. End Health 100, Armor 0. Death Count – 20
This map is so good it deserves to be studied. The opening cavern is all kinds of awesome. I just loved it. Fantastic organic shaping of the room, great detail with all the ledges and alcoves, great use of darkness and light for those bright areas in the wall. Fantastic stuff. The wood area off the cavern was very tastefully done, although for the most part it had only one light level – 128. However, Risen3D has glow effects, so it looked fantastic wherever torches were encountered. The mortuary was yet another highlight, with well-done crosses, and right down to the thoughtful detail of tiny crosses on the coffin lids. Holy fucking shit! A. Gamma is a name I'm gonna watch.
Allow me to note that with Risen3D, I was not able to see any monsters in their Insta-Lifts.
Which brings me to the gameplay, which wasn’t bad at all, despite an overuse of Insta-Lifts. Lucky for me, I read some accounts before I played, so thank you, dobugabumaru, for letting me know there’d be a Chaingunner behind me right at the start. I was still surprised by the sheer number of pop-up monsters, but without the warning, I surely would have been dusted the first time through. As it was, to my amazement, I survived, not only that crazy pop-up trap, but one after another. I have seen Insta-Lifts before, but never Insta-Lifts that deliver enemies by the platoon! Jesus fucking Christ, man, it was so over-the-top I had to smile. Especially that one guarding the entrance to the blue key area, which pops up 4 Pinkies, 2 Hell Knights and a Baron on one lift. I thought, “C’mon, man, you’re fuckin’ kidding me!” That one had its humorous moment, because when I first opened the door a Chaingunner hit one of the hidden HKs, and because it started moving, when the lift came up the HK was standing on the head of a Pinkie. ;D That trap led to my first death, because, as usual, I backed away from the big boys, and for some stupid reason, I decided to open a door way back near the stairs that I thought led to a room I had already cleared. Instead, there was a load of Sergeants, Chaingunners and Revvies on the other side, but I didn’t see the Revvies at first, so I charged in to kill the hitscanners and got downed by Revvie rockets.
I didn’t get killed again until the third teleport wave at the blue key. I got killed twice there, I think, while finding the right spot to kill everything from. Worth noting is that this is one of several areas where I encountered, for fuck’s sake, Medikits in front of switches! There should be a law against this. I can’t believe I keep finding this error in modern maps. And it IS an error. Stop it, people, stop it! Gaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
If only I had known that after I opened the blue door, a simple run past the Revvie guard would take me to the exit, I could have saved a lot of time. Instead, spooked by the Revvie, and shocked by the ensuing heavy monsters teleporting in, I did a Capellan, leaped off the cliff, and let them fight it out. That led to the time-consuming tedium of shotgunning some Barons and HKs. After discovering that I had an exit up there, and after doing my first run in about 36 minutes, I decided to find the yellow key and see if I could grab the Soulsphere.
I disagree with the other reviewers, and am glad this annoying meatgrinder was left as an optional adventure. There is not one thing I liked about this part. First, the nonsense with going down to the cellar to flip a switch to lower a platform and run back upstairs before it rises is the kind of thing I’ve done and yet hate most about Doom. This is purely personal, I admit. I simply do not like this type of gameplay. And then we find ourselves up on a narrow wall, having to jump to another narrow wall, before jumping to the yellow key. Oh joy, I save a game up there and try and try and try and – gimme a fuckin’ break! It’s like I suddenly woke up in a 1985 sidescrolling Amiga platformer. I shoulda clipped for the key. I shoulda.
I got killed twice in the ensuing trap, and by now was annoyed to the point of ordering a first strike on A.Gamma’s house. And then, of course, the big trap at the Soulsphere, all that heavy meat in a tiny room. As a walking keyboarder of limited skill, there was really no strategy for me to pursue. There was nowhere to go, nothing to grab, so all I could really hope for was luck. Most of my deaths came in this trap, something like 14. Now, I died 14 times in a row – as I like to boast! ;D – at the very opening of Capellan’s MM2 Map15, but I saw ways that I could win, things that I could do, and when I finally prevailed, I felt very good about it. But in this Soulsphere trap, oddly enough, I almost won through on my third try, and all I used was the SSG. I was lucky with the infighting, because the Chaingunners and Revvies teleported in. Sometimes they didn’t. All I needed was to fade one HK, and I wouldn’t have been cornered again. Oh, well.
After my 5th death I figured the Soulsphere wasn’t worth it, but I still wanted to beat the trap. I didn’t have enough Plasma, though, but I remembered reading about a “hidden graveyard,” so I went looking for it, and sure enough, after searching and humping everything in sight, I found it. What an obtuse secret that was! But there’s the Plasma Gun and a Cell Charge Pack. Yay! And a pretty nasty trap, too. Chalk up 2 more deaths by Revvie.
I still had a pretty small amount of Cells for the huge amount of meat I was facing, and try as I might, I wasn’t able to beat that trap. I failed to get the Soulsphere, and since it wasn’t a fun fight to me, I dragged my ass to the exit. So if this adventure had been mandatory, I’d either have spent the time needed to get another lucky break, or I would have quit the map and pistol-started it at a lower difficulty. But because the adventure is optional, it doesn’t lower my appreciation of the map. For those who like that combination of puzzle and raw brutality, have at it and enjoy yourselves. The rest of the map was only medium-hard, just right for me, and I actually left a huge amount of health and a fair number of shell boxes behind. Maybe all that stuff was for speedrunners who like to UV Max at the highest possible pace, and thus go in guns blazing against a horde of enemies. Anyway, finally, I can say that this is a stunning map and a pretty fun play. I liked it a lot.
End map ammo: 381 Bullets, 100 Shells, Zero Rockets and 142 Cells.